Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Arbutus arizonica


SPECIES: Arbutus arizonica
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Pavek, Diane S. 1993. Arbutus arizonica. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : ARBARI SYNONYMS : Arbutus xalapensis var. arizonica Gray SCS PLANT CODE : ARAR2 COMMON NAMES : Arizona madrone Arizona madrono TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of Arizona madrone is Arbutus arizonica (Gray) Sarg. [11,25]. It is a member of the heather family (Ericaceae). There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or forms. LIFE FORM : Tree, Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Arbutus arizonica
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Arizona madrone has a limited distribution. It is found in the foothills and lower mountains of southern Arizona and New Mexico, and northern Mexico [11,22,25]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES34 Chaparral - mountain shrub FRES35 Pinyon - juniper STATES : AZ NM MEXICO BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 7 Lower Basin and Range 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K018 Pine - Douglas-fir forest K019 Arizona pine forest K023 Juniper - pinyon woodland K031 Oak - juniper woodlands SAF COVER TYPES : 237 Interior ponderosa pine 239 Pinyon - juniper 240 Arizona cypress 241 Western live oak SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Arizona madrone is widespread in mesic areas of the Madrean (i.e., Sierra Madre) evergreen woodlands, extending up into the mixed coniferous forest [1,4,13]. Additionally, it is a minor component of two riparian community types: (1) Arizona sycamore/American ash (Platanus wrightii/Fraxinus pennsylvanica) and (2) Arizona sycamore [24]. Arizona madrone is an important species within the oak-pine woodland, especially the pygmy conifer-oak scrub (Pinus cembroides-Juniperus deppeana-Quercus arizonica, Q. emoryi) [5,17,30]. It is also found in drier adjacent communities with buckbrush (Ceanothus huichugore) [4,18]. It is listed as a minor seral species in the following classification: Forest and woodland habitat types (plant associations) of Arizona south of the Mogollon Rim and southwestern New Mexico [33].


SPECIES: Arbutus arizonica
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : Arizona madrone has light-colored sapwood that is close grained, heavy, soft, and brittle. The wood has a specific gravity of approximately 0.71. Arizona madrone has been used to manufacture charcoal and gunpowder [22,28]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Arizona madrone is rarely browsed except by goats [22]. Its fruits are eaten by mammals and birds and may be an important food source for some species, such as the elegant trogan [32]. Arizona madrone may provide nest sites for cavity-nesting or other birds. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : The fruit of Arizona madrone has narcotic properties, and the bark is used as an astringent [21]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Arbutus arizonica
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Arizona madrone is a native, broadleaf, evergreen tree or shrub [11]. Stout, spreading branches form a compact, round-topped crown [21]. It grows 19 to 50 feet (6-15 m) tall with a diameter of 18 to 24 inches (46-61 cm) [11,21,22,28]. The bark is smooth, thin, and peels off in sheets [7,11,21]. Thick, oblong leaves are leathery, and 2 to 3 inches (5-7.2 cm) long. The fruit is a mealy, sweet berry. The berry contains many seeds [25,27,28]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Arizona madrone reproduces sexually by seed. Fleshy, bright-colored fruits may be animal disseminated, as are the fruits of another madrone species (Arbutus unedo) [10,16]. Madrone species, including Arizona madrone, sprout from the root crown after top-kill by burning or other disturbance [10,14,15,34]. Arizona madrone grows slowly [27]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Arizona madrone is found in mesic canyons, on lower slopes, and mountain sides [1]. It occurs on well-drained, gravelly, and sunny sites [7,28]. Arizona madrone is confined to moist riparian areas at low elevations (1,600 to 2,200 feet [487-671 m]) but occurs more commonly at elevations from 4,000 to 8,000 feet (1,219-2,438 m) [6,11,28,30]. It occurs on a variety of soils formed from resideual or colluvial parent materials [33]. Arizona madrone is often on open, north-facing or intermediate east- and west-facing slopes. In the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona, its highest frequency (23 percent) was on north-facing slopes [30]. The climate is semiarid to arid with bimodal rainy seasons (July to September and December to March) [1,5,30]. Rainfall is variable with mean annual precipitation from 11 to 20 inches (280-500 mm). Common associated species are New Mexico locust (Robina neomexicana), silverleaf oak (Quercus hypoleucoides), netleaf oak (Q. rugosa), Apache pine (Pinus engelmannii), and Chihuahua pine (Pinus leiophylla var. chihuahuana) [5,6,24,29,32]. Other associated species are longtongue muhly (Muhlenbergia longiligula) and New Mexico groundsel(Senecio neomexicanus) [33]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Little information was found in the literature about the successional status of Arizona madrone. It reportedly occurs as a mid- to late seral species [32]. Based upon the performance of other members of this genus, Arizona madrone is most likely a facultative seral species. Another madrone species (Arbutus unedo) that holds a similar ecological role in Corsican woodlands is a mid-successional species [16]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : New leaves of Arizona madrone are put out in May and again after the summer rains; these leaves persist about 1 year [21]. Arizona madrone flowers from April to May or June [3,11,28]. Fruits ripen October through November [21,28].


SPECIES: Arbutus arizonica
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Arizona madrone has thin bark, which makes it susceptible to fire damage. It sprouts from the root crown after top-kill [34]. Published information on the fire ecology of Arizona madrone is sparse. Further research is needed in this area [1]. Fire is infrequent and has a minor role in the riparian communities in which Arizona madrone is a component; however, fire occurs frequently in the pine-oak woodland types in which it also occurs [17]. Arizona madrone in the Chiricahua and Santa Catalina Mountains of Arizona has survived fire. In a Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)/oak community, an Arizona madrone had eight fire scars, indicating frequent fires [31]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : survivor species; on-site surviving root crown or caudex off-site colonizer; seed carried by animals or water; postfire yr 1&2 Secondary colonizer - off-site seed


SPECIES: Arbutus arizonica
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Arizona madrone has thin bark and is top-killed by fire [34]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Arizona madrone sprouts from the root corwn after top-kill by fire [34]. Madrean evergreen woodlands in Arizona were prescribed burned in 1983. In 1989 and 1990, no sprouting or germination of Arizona madrone was found. The small, slow-moving fires may have caused root damage to Arizona madrone, which suppressed sprouting or killed the plants [32]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Arizona madrone occurs in canyons that are often involved in prescribed fire programs within the Madrean evergreen woodlands [1].


SPECIES: Arbutus arizonica
REFERENCES : 1. Bennett, Peter S.; Kunzmann, Michael R. 1992. The applicability of generalized fire prescriptions to burning of Madrean evergreen forest and woodland. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science. 24-25: 79-84. [18324] 2. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434] 3. Britton, N. L.; Shafer, J. A. 1908. North American trees. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 894 p. [20918] 4. Brown, David E., ed. 1982. Biotic communities of the American Southwest--United States and Mexico. Desert Plants. 4(1-4): 342 p. Special Issue. [534] 5. Brown, David E. 1982. Madrean evergreen woodland. In: Brown, David E., ed. Biotic communities of the American Southwest--United States and Mexico. Desert Plants. 4(1-4): 59-65. [8886] 6. Diem, Kenneth L.; Zeveloff, Samuel I. 1980. Ponderosa pine bird communities. In: DeGraaf, Richard M., technical coordinator. Management of western forests and grasslands for nongame birds: Workshop proceedings; 1980 February 11-14; Salt Lake City, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-86. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 170-197. [17904] 7. Elmore, Francis H. 1976. Shrubs and trees of the Southwest uplands. Tucson, AZ: Southwest Parks and Monuments Association. 214 p. [20920] 8. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 9. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 10. Gratani, L.; Amadori, M. 1991. Post-fire resprouting of shrubby species in Mediterranean maquis. Vegetatio. 96: 137-143. [20922] 11. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563] 12. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 13. Lowe, Charles H.; Holm, Peter A. 1991. The amphibians and reptiles at Saguaro National Monument, Arizona. Technical Report No. 37. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Cooperative National Park Resources Study Unit. 20 p. [18335] 14. McDonald, Philip M. 1981. Adapatations of woody shrubs. In: Hobbs, S. D.; Helgerson, O. T., eds. Reforestation of skeletal soils: Proceedings of a workshop; 1981 November 17-19; Medford, OR. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University, Forest Research Laboratory: 21-29. [4979] 15. Mesleard, Francois; Lepart, Jacques. 1989. Continuous basal sprouting from a lignotuber: Arbutus unedo L. and Erica arborea L., as woody Mediterranean examples. Oecologia. 80: 127-131. [20921] 16. Mesleard, F.; Lepart, J. 1991. Germination and seedling dynamics of Arbutus unedo and Erica arborea on Corsica. Journal of Vegetation Science. 2: 155-164. [20923] 17. Niering, William A.; Lowe, Charles H. 1984. Vegetation of the Santa Catalina Mountains: community types and dynamics. Vegetatio. 58: 3-28. [12037] 18. Pase, Charles P.; Brown, David E. 1982. Rocky Mountain (Petran) and Madrean montane conifer forests. In: Brown, David E., ed. Biotic communities of the American Southwest--United States and Mexico. Desert Plants. 4(1-4): 43-48. [8885] 19. Raphael, Martin G. 1987. Use of Pacific madrone by cavity-nesting birds. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 198-202. [5375] 20. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 21. Sargent, C. S. 1965. Manual of the trees of North America. New York: Dover Publications,nInc. 2 vols. [20917] 22. Standley, P. C. 1924. Trees and shrubs of Mexico. Contrib. U.S. Nat. Herb. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Press; 23: 849-1312. [20916] 23. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p. [20090] 24. Szaro, Robert C.; King, Rudy M. 1990. Sampling intensity and species richness: effects on delineating Southwestern riparian plant communities. Forest Ecology and Management. 33/34: 335-349. [13783] 25. Tidestrom, I.; Kittell, T. 1941. A flora of Arizona and New Mexico. Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press. 897 p. [18145] 26. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 27. Soil Conservation Service of America, Arizona Chapter. Natural Vegetation Committee. 1973. Landscaping with native Arizona plants. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press. 194 p. [20919] 28. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707] 29. Wagle, R. F. 1981. Fire: its effects on plant succession and wildlife in the Southwest. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona. 82 p. [4031] 30. Whittaker, R. H.; Niering, W. A. 1965. Vegetation of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona: a gradient analysis of the south slope. Ecology. 46: 429-452. [9637] 31. Mutch, L. (pers. comm. 1993) 32. Bennett, P. (pers. comm. 1993) 33. Twisselmann, E. C. 1967. A flora of Kern County, California. Wasmann Journal of Biology. 25: 1-395. [20388] 34. Barton, Drew. 2002. [Email to Janet Howard re: Arizona madrone]. July 23. Farmington, ME: University of Maine at Farmington, Department of Natural Sciences. On file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. [41435]

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